01/15/19

The Importance of An Agile Mindset

By: Prasad Eswara, Senior Manager

A mindset is a belief in our own abilities. It is a way of thinking that separates ordinary from extraordinary. There are two different types of mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

In a fixed mindset, individuals believe their personal attributes, talents, skills, and the like are fixed traits and that talent alone creates success – without ongoing effort. Growth-minded individuals are all about the journey and believe that talents and personal attributes can be enhanced through learning, mentorship, and personal experiences. They believe that life is a learning experience and outcomes are by-products of learning and developing. And results don’t define who we are – they accompany the journey.

Much like a growth-mindset, agile principles are about cultivating an agile spirit. Thus, an agile organization fosters a growth culture, creates equal opportunities to innovate, and learns quickly from failures. In an ever-changing world, the ability to respond quickly and creatively to uncertainty is paramount. An agile organization consists of strong and empowered teams with a growth-mindset. Employees and teams with such a mindset promote personal and professional development and help others succeed.

A rapidly evolving environment urges companies to take advantage of opportunities and decide swiftly. Whether they use design thinking, lean, or other development frameworks, companies must act quickly, test, learn, and improve the ability of the organization to innovate. No consensus decisions are sought in an agile organization. Everyone is welcome to contribute, but those with greater expertise are given priority. Team members learn to “disagree and commit” in order to make the project progress.

Agile companies hire people who are committed to creating meaningful work. They are passionate people who are proactively looking for ways to improve their roles and skills. When they are trained and empowered to manage, they become leaders who will make it possible for others to collaborate and deliver exceptional results. Leadership can only happen in positive, high-trust organizations.

Likewise, technology is a growth enabler. In an agile organization, technology is seamlessly integrated. It is a means to unlock value and enable quick reactions to business and stakeholder needs. Traditional products and services will have to keep pace with the developments in technology and the increase in customer demands. This process will require a seamless implementation of technology, systems, and tools.

Today’s competitive environment forces organizations to embrace an agile mindset and exhibit these five attributes: strong teams that work towards the same goals, networks of empowered individuals, rapid cycles of acting and decision, the belief that passion, commitment, and self-improvement is the way forward, and supporting the role of technology in building an innovative organization.

Does your organization need help developing an agile mindset?

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